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Pixar Releases RenderMan Pro Server 18

Posted By : Animation Galaxy    At 17-07-2013 17:10:42

Tags : Pixar Releases RenderMan Pro Server 18    

Innovating lighting workflows and high performance visual effects rendering
Pixar Animation Studios announced the release of RenderMan Pro Server 18, demonstrating Pixar’s commitment to an ongoing series of rapid functional releases that continue to advance the state of the art in cinematic quality rendering. This major version upgrade presents core enhancements in lighting workflows including important new features such as path tracing and accelerated re-rendering, while at the same time delivering a new level of lighting performance through geometric area lights, beam diffusion subsurface scattering facilitating the physically correct simulation of human skin, and enhanced processing of volumes. This latest RenderMan release sets a new standard in rendering technology, as RenderMan once again anticipates the latest demands in feature film visual effects and animation.

"Geometry lights are awesome!" said Mitch Prater (LLC), Shading System Architect for Laika VFX. "It's a fantastic achievement with geometric area lights that have tons of great features, better sampling for faster and better results, interactive path tracing, and expanded controls and shading information access. It's a huge step up from 17."

"The all-round improvements in RenderMan Pro Server 18, such as memory usage, a new path tracing hider and improved subsurface scattering, have enabled us to greatly extend our physically-based lighting and shading workflow." said Dan Seddon, Creative Director, Method Studios, New York. "The addition of geometric area lights has provided us with vastly improved sampling whilst simplifying their control with fewer parameters. More than ever, we can now render with the same setups regardless of whether we are rendering hard surfaces, organics, or volumes. All of this while having the familiar tricks and tools we often need to fall back on when the schedule crunch arrives."

What's New
The Big Release
RenderMan Pro Server 18 is not just significantly faster, it's also more photorealistic than ever. RPS 18 can process more geometry, more efficiently, with more realistic lights and shaders to deliver outstanding results, and better yet, these latest improvements also simplify the world for 3D artists with streamlined workflows and awesome new tools for interactive lighting.

Faster Re-Rendering
Providing the fastest feedback possible for shaders and lighters is a key goal for RenderMan, so RPS 18 delivers Path Tracing for greatly enhanced interactive re-rendering, allowing lighters and shaders to focus on the artistry of their craft, and to hopefully get home by suppertime.

Better Area Lights
RPS 18 allows you to turn any geometric primitive into a light source with Geometric Area Lights. These lights are not only highly realistic and capable of creating incredibly complicated lighting effects, but geometric area lights are much easier for lighters to control with a feature called "balanced sampling" ... and compared to standard area lights, they're simply faster. 

Enhanced Volumes
RenderMan's ability to process volumes has been optimized with hybrid sampling techniques. Because volumes near the camera don't need to be sampled as much as other elements in the scene, the REYES hider has been leveraged to deliver outstanding speed-ups whenever you need to fly a camera through a few explosions, a tornado, or whatever volumetric hijinks a shot demands.

Better Subsurface Scattering
Creating realistic human skin is hard, and the quality of the final result really depends how the subsurface scattering is being calculated. With RPS 18 there's a better way to create realistic skin with Beam Diffusion Subsurface Scattering. This new model is only slightly more expensive than standard SSS, but it produces much more satisfying results (results similar to "quantized diffusion," but that are numerically stable for animation). Now your humans can look real, and not waxy.  

And Much More ... 

With other significant improvements like Correlated Multi-Jittered Sampling and core optimizations to geometric primitives, RenderMan Pro Server 18 delivers amazing tools for VFX and animation. For the complete feature set please check out the RenderMan Pro Server 18 Release Notes. 

More Efficient Polygons
Polygonal meshes have been overhauled, reducing memory requirements significantly. Depending on the scene, users can expect anywhere from a 4x to 10x overall memory reduction when rendering complex polygonal meshes. The new implementation ray traces complex polygonal meshes up to 2 to 3 times faster with displacement and 20% to 35% faster when there is no displacement.

Additional features include:
- Correlated Multi-Jittered Sampling
- New textureatlas() shadeop
- Higher performance for instanced geometry 
- Improved statistics

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